.

.

The third-born daughter of Britannia's almighty Empire — with the sweetest temperament of the long line of children sired — was accustomed to loneliness.

Even while being well-loved by all of her siblings, even doing the unthinkable of charming the seemingly cruel Lelouch (who despite loving her second to Nunnally…s till poked her soft sides with twigs and called her 'stupid' after he beat her again at chess...) — Euphemia spent her time wandering the royal estate unaccompanied.

Sometimes she found Marianne (who was Lelouch's mother) in the garden of the back of the estate or the meadows on the borders, and she was someone in the girl's mind who resembled something like a second mother to her. Her own mother had disappeared when Euphemia had been too young to remember, and her big sister Cornelia presumed their real mother dead. But she didn't like to think about that. Marianne was mother enough to her and Cornelia admired her in a way for that.

Sometimes when she found Marianne, there would be another pretty woman at her side that the guards could not explain but didn't seem concerned about. The woman always wore a long red dress and a red tilted hat over her long, pale green hair. The woman and Marianne must have been good friends, Euphemia decided — they held hands when sitting by the lake and whispered to each other before laughing into their hands at some private joke.

But they fought sometimes like Cornelia told her good friends did — the unnamed woman would inch her arm up Marianne's arm and move her mouth into the space of her neck, and then Marianne would frown at her and push her away like she was angry with her.

But… surely… Marianne must have loved her friend.

It had been a long summer day in particular when Euphemia spotted a solitary white daisy to her liking in the meadows, racing towards it alone with intended delight as it swayed temptingly in the grass, before suddenly, being crushed underneath someone else's shoe.

The green-haired woman at fault stared down calmly at trembling lips and the child's rapidly watering eyes.

"Do you mourn the flower?"

Little, pink-haired Euphemia sniffled, rubbing the space beneath her slowly trickling nose. "It didn't do nothing to you… why did you hurt it…?

"Then… can I assume that you mourn the grass for which you have stepped on to reach it? It was innocent as this flower. Should the flower unlike the grass be treated differently because it is considered more beautiful to you?"

Preoccupied amber eyes of the woman, much more weighted than the child's, did not blink as she slipped a hand into the front pocket of her cotton red dress, presenting a linen handkerchief down to little Euphemia. When the wide-eyed princess did not reach out to take it (much too astonished of the stranger's philosophy), the green-haired woman leaned over to her, gently pinching her reddened nose with the clean cloth between her long, pale fingers.

The little girl squawked in indignation, squeezing her lavender-colored eyes tight, and blowing her nose harshly as a reaction to the feel. She reopened her drying eyes as the unnamed woman pulled back, leaving the handkerchief in tiny, fisted hands.

"What is your name then? Are you one of Daddy's new wives?" Euphemia asked nosily, her thick ,magenta curls blowing in the breeze as she glanced towards the homey, maple-yellow cottage surrounded by high grass downhill, "Were you going to go see Marianne? Are you one of her bestest friends? I've seen you at the palace before with her. Do you live around here? Is it a big house like our house?"

The woman tilted her head sideways, wistfully. "The Emperor's new wife wishes to fulfill our contract."

Euphemia smiled cooperatively, repeating the gesture and thus falling onto the skirts of her pink play dress, giggling.

"Do you know Lelouch?" the child asked.

A unique, untried emotion faded in gold-amber as a tiny smirk surfaced to the stranger's face.

She informed the child in a monotonous voice, "When he grows up, he will wish to form a contract."

"What's a con…" She attempted to sound the word out, sticking her tongue between her teeth, "con-tact do?"

"Do you have a reason for living?"

Euphemia grinned at the question spoke so seriously, never realizing its influence as she spread her pudgy arms in the air.

"My Daddy, my brothers— even stupid Lelouch except when he makes fun of me for not playing the vio-lin right— he's just mad cause the only thing he's good at is chess— big sister Cornelia, and baby Nunnally, and Marianne…"

Her list came to a complete standstill as a cool grip scented of sunflowers and sunshine touched her elbow. Euphemia gazed up bewildered at the woman who smiled unexpectedly and pulled up the little girl's arm, her cool, immortal lips pressing into her forehead.

Your innocence is rare among others.

At those most painful moments you will encounter, when suffering is dealt by your hands but not by your heart, at the end of that trial, dear one—I promise you will find peace. Remember the love of your family you shall always have, and the love Lelouch has for you. That love cannot be broken.

.

.

Marianne Lamperouge greeted CC by the front door of the cottage.

Draped in her long, white arms was an unconscious girl with rosy curls. Marianne's violet eyes searched the immortal woman, curiously.

"Run into someone on the way?"

"Certainly looks this way, doesn't it," CC said unconcernedly, holding out the limp body. "Where do you want her?"

"The bed will be fine." Marianne moved out of the way for her to lay the girl upon the sheets. The noblewoman pressed the back of her hand to Euphemia's still face before looking up to CC. "Exhaustion or... something different?"

CC ignored her loaded question, leaning against the end of a table. "She will lead an interesting existence, that one." Marianne was almost tempted to raise a suspicious eyebrow at the ominous statement from her frilly-dressed companion.

"How do you mean? Did you read her future?"

"She is interesting as she is now too. Thoughtless. Naïve. Strong. Not like your son."

Marianne's face turned into a hateful scowl as the golden eyes looking back shone in knowing. "Am I supposed to find offense in this? What is the purpose of mocking me about these children? If you simply want to hang some mystical insight I don't know over my head…"

The green-haired woman shook her head, touching her index fingers to Marianne's mouth quickly when they moved out of the sleeping child's room. "You only wished for the power to possess people. Do you wish for more? You can gain my powers if you fulfill the contract between us…"

"That is to be Charles's doing, isn't it?" Marianne held one of CC's fingers over her lips, whispering, flicking her moist tongue over the tip affectionately when a flash of irritation crossed CC's expression at the informal way she spoke of the Emperor. "I have no business in taking your Code. What did you see about my son?"

But the other woman did not answer her as they kissed and caressed each other, needful, stubborn. Marianne's hands buried deep into strands of long, rich green.

Against the cottage wall, legs opening like iris pedals, CC murmured nastily into her ear, "Even the Emperor cannot satisfy you that you need a cursed witch to do it, Lady Marianne. How far from grace you have fallen… further than other mortal sins…"

The noblewoman snorted, not amused, biting her lover's lower lip until blood trickled down her chin.

They were furious, scratching the length of their backs and biting, clutching each other and stifling back any noises so not to wake the little girl inside the bedroom — but riding it out for their own. Marianne traced the curve of her lover's buttocks, squeezing firmly when her orgasm faded off, "I will have to disappoint you again tonight, CC."

"I don't know why I bother," CC replied softly, golden eyes fluttering. "Every night you tell me you will give me what I want. And yet I believe you."

"I think this a fair exchange for disappointment." Marianne grinned with her crude meaning and fearless of embarrassment as she kissed the long, white nape of neck in front of her. "Wouldn't you agree?"

.

.


Ahhh… yuri request for August finished. You got your Code Geass. (Most canon yuri couple in the fandom, in my opinion.) Reviews are luff. This was kind of telling two stories and maybe a bit cut off…and I apologize for it… I honestly almost didn't have anything done at the end of the month. With all the crap that has been going before classes and now that has started…adding on all the clubs I have joined and my on-campus job… I was saved merely by encouragement. Diamond, darling, we may be oceans and countries apart from each other but I know you have my back…and you have my gratitude. FINGER TRAPS ACROSS THE WORLD!